I love writing.
It’s always been the thing that’s made me feel most like ME. I lose hours and afternoons at it. I am so, so lucky to be making a job out of the thing I love.
But sometimes, it complicates things. My deadlines have been very fast – a little less so now that STAR CURSED has been pushed back to June instead of February, but things were crazy with BORN WICKED. It’s really common for books to take 18 months or more from sale to publication. I had 11 months. I was finishing edits before many authors would even get their first edit letter. I’m grateful for it, because I am awful at waiting. But Editor Ari’s amazing lightning-fast turn-arounds has meant I rarely have more than a few days off. I’ve been working on STAR CURSED for over a year, and I haven’t had more than two weeks away from it (when I was on tour). Soon I’ll be starting book 3. But in the meantime…
…I’m a little bit lost. I’m anxious. I have anxiety disorder, which means it doesn’t take much for my brain’s faulty wiring to start shrieking Something is wrong here! A deviation from routine will totally do it. An absence of a to-do list, of orderly goals for the day, of…stress. When I don’t feel stressed, my brain starts looking for something to worry about, and it is not above making shit up. It makes finding balance particularly hard, I think. I don’t want to be constantly go-go-go because I’m afraid of the anxiety that results from the silence. Sometimes rest is really important for creativity.
But I also feel like I’ve started scheduling my life around writing and deadlines, and embracing that stress, in a way that is maybe not optimal. Writing has always been so much of me that Writer Jess is a huge part of my identity. But now that the thing I do for fun is my job…what do I do for fun? I read, I tweet, I meet up with writing friends. Those things are all amazing and wonderful but…still kind of work-related.
So, I’ve decided that this fall – while I’m writing book 3 – I’m going to find out. I love fall. It energizes me. I’m dreaming up all sorts of classes I want to take – yoga, calligraphy, letterpress, various cooking classes. I’m thinking about making Christmas cards. (I heart paper goods, you guys.) Of making soups from scratch. Of long walks with friends where writing is only a tiny part of the conversation. Of game nights. Of seeing plays. And fitting writing around all of this, instead of the other way ’round, and seeing how that goes.
What do you do for fun? Have you ever felt like one part of you is overwhelming the rest?